QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF KIRUPAKARAN||(CLAIMANT)|
|IMMIGRATION APPELLATE AUTHORITY||(DEFENDANT)|
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(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR N SHELDON (instructed by Treasury Solicitors) appeared on behalf of the DEFENDANT
Crown Copyright ©
Thursday, 12th June 2003
"In the circumstances which obtained prior to the cease-fire, that I accept would have led to a prolonged period of detention and, whilst in detention, there is a real risk that he would have been severely mistreated in a manner which would amount to persecution."
He then went on to refer to the cease-fire and conditions since. He said:
"Evidence was put to me in the form of BBC reports of a cease-fire arrangement and attempts at a peace settlement. In those circumstances, it may well be that past misdemeanours and even a past record might not lead to further detention. As Mr Wright submitted [Mr Wright appeared for the claimant before the Adjudicator], it is for the respondent [that is the Secretary of State] to show that those circumstances are more than transitory. A BBC news report which is before me dated 11 April 2002 reports that the government of Sri Lanka is preparing to lift its ban on the LTTE. The evidence before me is sparse, but the cease-fire has held for several months. The intentions of both the government and the LTTE as expressed in the news reports suggest that there is a real prospect of more than a transitory peace and cease-fire and indeed of a political settlement acceptable to all sides. Although the decision is not an easy one on the facts of this case, I am satisfied that the circumstances in Sri Lanka have changed such that although he might have been facing a real risk prior to the cease-fire agreement, if now returned the appellant would not face a real risk that his past activities would cause him to be detained and ill-treated in a manner amounting to persecution, although he may well appear on a wanted list. Accordingly, I am not satisfied that the appellant has discharged the burden of proof on him to show that if he were now to be returned to Sri Lanka he would face a real risk of persecution..."
On that basis he dismissed the appeal relating to asylum.
"The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens, however, there were serious problems in some areas. Unlike previous years, there were [no] disputed reports of security forces committing extrajudicial killings and no reports of disappearances. However, the military and police reportedly tortured detainees. There was at least one report of a death in custody. Security forces have raped a woman while they were in custody. Torture remained a problem and prison conditions remained poor. There were no reports of arbitrary arrests during the year. During the year, the Government released more than 750 Tamils held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and no new arrests under the PTA occurred during the year."
That report really corroborates the UK report on lawful killings in June 2002 and the lack of credible reports of disappearances at the hands of the security forces. Nonetheless, the report says:
"Medical examination of persons arrested since 2000 continue to reveal multiple cases of torture."